Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century

So first of all today is Oscar Wilde’s birthday so I thought this would be a perfect time to post it.

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Oscar Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century by Phillip Hoare

In the spring of 1918 London, Oscar Wilde was put on trial eighteen years after his death.

A staging of the Wilde’s play Salomé was finally permitted with Maud Allan as the lead. Her eroticism outraged Noel Pemberton Billing, a member of Parliament. He denounced her as part of the Cult of Clitoris, the female version of the Cult of Wilde.

He believed this cult had infected the land with its perversion.

Maud sued Billing for libel and the trial that followed held the world in thrall.  Did Billing really have a black book with the names of 47,000 members of the Cult of Wilde? Where they promoting degeneracy? Or was Billing just paranoid and hysterical?

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Thoughts After Reading:

This book was the most boring-est I’ve ever read. The author just throws you with so many characters and backstories it almost makes your mind want to explode as you are trying to figure out which character is important and need to be known later and who is filler.

Ugh!

The book just crawled by too. It made it horrible to read.

I think it would have been better if they started with the trial, giving us a taste, and then went into the people so we knew who was who. I didn’t like it and I don’t think I’ll be reading any of Hoare’s work in the future.

For more nonfiction, go to The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

Conspiracy

“Conspiracy” by Harold Swanton from Murder by Experts

A reporter is in a bad mood. His girlfriend has been cheating on him and now he is being sent to a town that is clearly going to be flooded to report on it.

As he is driving to the town, he passes the girlfriend’s apartment and gets an idea. This flooding is definitely going to happen, and when it does this town is gone-washed away. Why not kill his girlfriend and let the river wash the body away?

He heads to the girlfriend’s apartment and does the deed, but as he is, the water comes and the building starts swaying. He becomes disorientated and then he realizes that there is a man that witnessed everything.

He runs after them, but both are stopped and knocked out by a telephone pole hitting the water.

When he wakes up, he is in a hospital having been rescued. And to his surprise the other man is also in the room-but blinded from the accident.

He feels he is in the clear, but then a women’s murdered body is found and the man remembers having witnessed a man killing a woman.

The reporter is given the task of taking him to get more of the story when it turns out the man is not blind-he faked the whole thing!

He has a gun and plans to kill the reporter as he murdered his wife and doesn’t want any witnesses.

Imagine the irony! Both having killed their women and worried about being witnessed!

This reporter isn’t going down and manages to drive his way out and getting the gun from him and shooting him. So now he’s got his girlfriend killed, a great story, and feels fine about having killed the man-or does he?

For more posts on reporters, go to Loose Screw

For more short stories, go to The Hitchhiker